British Bouldering Championships
The British Bouldering Championships is held at one of the UK’s largest outdoor festivals in the beautiful green space of Graves Park. Last year it was a total washout with everything but the competition being cancelled. This year the weather could not have been more contrasting. The sun was shining hot and bright the entire weekend and the park was full with music, colour, activities and ice cream once more.
I was not sure what to expect from this competition. I had climbed once since my return from Colorado four days before and it was my first session indoors in a month. Walking for miles to try a few boulder problems is very different to having a session on plastic. Doing a high volume of climbing was a little overwhelming but it felt great to pull on without being tired from walking.
I received my new climbing shoes from 5.10 the day before the comp, the TEAM VXI. Bright green and super soft. I decided this was a good opportunity to try them out and they were awesome. I flashed all of the qualifying problems and sat in first place heading into semi finals the next day.
Semi finals were hot and sweaty and there were some tough problems to get up but I felt good and managed to top all four with only one little foot error costing me a flash. Awesome efforts were put in by the youth bouldering team this weekend with Gracie Martin just missing out on finals and Tara Hayes finishing in 8th.
Before finals I didn’t feel nervous at all. Most of us were relaxed and having a laugh warming up in the back and hanging out with John Ellison, the CAC man. If you don’t know about CAC then I am disappointed in you! Go find out and buy yourself a t-shirt. If you do know about CAC and you don’t own a t-shirt then you should do something about that!
We had presentation and observation. I still felt fine, a few butterflies here and there but nothing much. It wasn’t until I was stood waiting to go out to climb that the nerves hit me. It was horrible. I was SO nervous! And the first climb was a slab. Not ideal for nerves at all. I put a smile on my face and stepped out onto the mat. Climbing last is so hard. You know if the boulder has been topped so you know what you have to do. I somehow managed to figure out what to do and flashed it. After that the nerves eased and I was excited about the next 3 problems.
The second one had caused a few issues for the climbers before me with no one coming back fast. I knew the hold would be nice a sweaty by the time my turn came around so I decided to climb a little faster. I am not really sure what I did but before I knew it I had the CAC finishing jug in my hands. The third boulder was even sweatier! I just about held the finishing hold, a heart stopping moment. This problem secured my title for another year and moments before Andy Murray Won Wimbledon. I am not sure what I was more excited about. I am not usually a tennis fan but WOW such an incredible achievement! And by a fellow Adidas athlete too 🙂
The fourth boulder had not seen an attempt. It looked like a battle through the roof on big volumes with knee bars and squeezing followed by a crimpy finish. I changed into trousers to protect my legs from the knee bar and also put my super stick Team VXI’s back on. I had expected a battle in the roof and thats what I got. My core was tested but luckily it passed and I reached the sausage shaped volume over the lip. I was heavily disappointed as it looked really good but was not textured at all and super slippery. I had to think on the spot at the top but it seemed to work in my favour as I found myself in a hands free rest that helped me sort myself out for the finishing move.
A great final 4 flashes 🙂
It was such a great event and I always love competing in front of a home crowd. I hope one day a world cup returns to the UK!